There are so many times throughout the week — more than most would care to admit — when I think about how much our behavior in romance has changed and how it’s perceived in the last half-century; hell, even the last decade.
I often wish that a time machine could teleport me to the 1950s or 1960s, when times were simpler in romance. When romance was actually, dare I say it, romantic.
Things were far from perfect 50-plus years ago, between racism and women’s rights alone, but at least when it came to romance things were, if nothing else, simpler.
But here I am in 2015, where words like “romance” and “chivalry” are becoming extinct in both practice and use, while terms like “thirsty” and “creep” are rising in popularity.
As much as technology has made our everyday lives easier, from mobile depositing checks to being able to find out almost anything in a matter of seconds on your phone, it has made love all the more complicated.
And it’s made (well-intentioned) guys’ lives hell.
Whether it’s discussing it in conversation with my female friends or seeing retweets from girls on Twitter, there are plenty of girls out there wondering why some guys aren’t more spontaneous or romantic.
One answer: Any act we do is fair game for internet shaming.
Any text message we send can be screenshotted and blasted out to a girl’s circle of friends or social media followers as a form of entertainment.
Doing something like writing your number on the receipt of a check for the cute waitress you chatted up (which, admittedly I’ve done once) can easily be photographed and sent out to the same people.
Any kind of letter or note is physical evidence of “thirst,” because, you know, he actually took the time to write something about/for you. News flash: Just because he shows interest in you and you wind up not being interested, that doesn’t make him thirsty.
Face-to-face interaction is the only “safe” play for guys because, God forbid a girl starts spreading any rumors about him, he can deny everything.
Even then, the truth can get distorted. “So, we went out and had a great time, then he went to get out of the car like he was coming inside on the first date. What a douche.” Um, no, maybe he wanted to walk you to your door. At most, he probably wanted to kiss you goodnight.
We live in a world where planning a date has become an equation. ‘Today is Friday. I don’t want to seem too forward and ask her out for tomorrow, so let’s shoot for next week. But is that too long? What if something else comes up before then?’
Keeping in contact has become an internal debate. ‘How often should I text her? I don’t want to seem too over-zealous, but I don’t want to seem disinterested.’
God forbid we talk on the phone. What, you mean actually hear their voice on the other end?
Social media is the norm now, but even that needs a strategic plan. ‘Do I follow her on everything? Maybe just Instagram and Snapchat. How many likes are too many? Did I like something too soon? Is it weird to add her on Facebook? Oh my God, I was scrolling through her Instagram photos and accidentally liked something from 98 weeks ago. 98 WEEKS! (contemplates ways to hide from the universe).’
I understand that there is a group of men who have soiled the dating pool for well-intentioned guys, just as I’m sure there are a ton of girls who see nothing wrong with any of the male acts indicated above (if not welcome it).
This is just to hopefully serve as an informative look into the male psyche and why chivalry may be dying. Ladies, before you judge men for being less romantic and spontaneous, look at how some of the girls around are treating them first.